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FAQs of the facility Investing for Employment (IFE)

Categorisation of projects

Can a local authority apply for a project in cooperation with a local association? If yes, will the project be Category 1?

YES, it is possible. The categorisation depends on the type of project.

Is a private training centre in Category 2 or 3?

  • The categorisation depends on the details of the candidate and particularly on the details of the proposed project.
  • If the project is for-profit, then Category 3

Is a project funding the construction/equipment of a technology centre considered in Category 1?

  • It depends on the type of candidate and the objective of the project. If both are for-profit (profit-generating activity with dividends distributed) then Category 3 or 4 applies.
  • Please note that building and equipping a technology centre is not enough. The Applicant(s) also need to be qualified to operate such a centre and be able to offer technical support to the users of this centre.

Is a PPP company that manages Technoparks or industrial zones eligible for public infrastructure projects for job creation (Category 1)?

  • YES. However, if the project is for profit then it will be considered Category 3 or 4.
  • Again: please note above remark on management capacity to operate a Technopark

Is the development and subdivision of an industrial zone belonging to a management company of a technopole with the aim of selling lots an eligible project? If so, does it belong in Category 1?

If the goal is commercial (making a profit and distributing dividends), then it falls into Category 3.Please note that building and equipping a technology centre is not enough. The Applicant(s) also need to be qualified to operate such a centre and be able to offer technical support to the users of this centre

Can a business that generates profit create a non-profit activity to be classified in Category 2?

YES. However, the company will need to present in sufficient detail to guarantee that the business will not revert to a goal of profitability in the short or long term.

Is a private company eligible for projects of Category 1 or 2?


Are universities and training institutions eligible for Category 1 (funding for training infrastructure (buildings and equipment))?

  • It depends on the details of the project concept; training infrastructure projects are more likely to fall into Category 2 when they are carried out by public institutions and Category 3 when carried out by the private sector.
  • Categor1 is essentially only for solid infrastructure measures (roads, energy, water, sewage …)

Are all for-profit projects systematically classified in Category 3 or 4?


Is it possible for SMEs to benefit from funding up to 75 to 90% if the project has a high added value in terms of job creation?

NO, for-profit companies can only apply for Categories 3 and 4.

Can a hotel construction project be considered in Category 1?

  • NO, this kind of for-profit project is classified as Category 4.
  • Here again: the construction alone is not enough. The Applicant needs to demonstrate professional capacity to operate the project upon its completion

Is it possible to combine multiple categories within the same project?

  • NO. If the project is made up of several components from different categories, then each component of the project should be presented separately.

If a project is not submitted under the correct and corresponding Category, will the application be rejected?

  • NO, the categorisation would be corrected by IFE, but the amount of the contribution expected from the candidate will be revised according to the requirements of the corresponding category.
  • Notably, if the financial status of the Applicant appears too weak or too low to cater for the increased own-contribution, then his score needs to be reduced or he should be disqualified.

Eligibility Conditions

Can local authorities participate in this call for project proposals?


Are export-oriented companies located in free zones/industrial acceleration zones eligible?

In principle, YES. However, it should be noted that IFE only finances viable, job-creating projects that for verifiable reasons could not secure its total funding requirements.

Can the same candidate (public or private) submit more than one project?

YES, on the condition that each project presents its own concept note.

Can a consortium of companies submit multiple projects?

YES. However each project must be submitted separately and will be considered solely on its own merits.

What are the priority sectors?

No particular sector is considered a priority by the IFE. However, certain sectors of activity are excluded. See www.kfw.de/PDF

Are disadvantaged areas or populations far from the labor market a priority?

NO, there is no special focus on these two elements.

Can the financial partner (e.g., a bank) replace the candidate in filing financial statements?

NO, each candidate is required to submit their own concept note. Please note that banks are not eligible for the program.

Are professional agricultural associations eligible? If so, in what categories are they placed?

Professional agricultural associations are eligible. The categorisation depends on the nature of the proposed project. (if the project is not-for profit, then Category 2, if for -profit but creating more jobs then for the project itself (Category 3), otherwise Category 4.

Is it possible to subsidize the activity of a microfinance institution to support micro enterprises?

Microfinance institutions are not eligible.

Are the negative financial statements of one of the partners a non-eligibility criterion?

IFE expect from all members of a consortium to demonstrate a healthy financial situation, with:

  • at least 2 positive EBITDA in the past 3 years
  • a debt/equity ratio of max 1:4, and

The requested grant cannot exceed 200% of the average annual revenue.

Is an extension project aimed at creating a new production line in another African country admissible?

No, IFE only finances projects that are both established within and fully operated within the country concerned by the Call for Proposal in question.

Are investments made prior to project approval eligible?

NO, the IFE grant only finances investments made from the date of the signature of the agreement.

Do the projects led by consortia have an advantage over those led by individual candidates?


Is a micro-credit financial support project eligible?


Are Public / NGO partnership projects eligible?


Is a youth capacity building project eligible?


Are companies in difficulty eligible?

NO. IFE only finances projects that are supported by companies whose financial health is satisfactory.

Does a parent company have the right to apply for financing with the objective of financing its subsidiary which does not meet the eligibility criteria?

Yes, if the considered project may be too large for the subsidiary. But IFE will not finance projects that serve to refinance, restructure or rehabilitate a subsidiary or any company in general.

Are newly created or being created businesses eligible?

  • The answer depends on the status of the Applicant:If the Applicant is the start-up itself, then the answer is: no.
  • If the Applicant is eligible according to the IFE terms (financially healthy, technically experienced for the project in question ..) and his project is structured as a stand-alone new company, then the answer is: yes

Is a business created in 2019 eligible?

No, unless it is a partner in a consortium with a lead partner which can present the certified financial statements for the last 3 years.

Does the leader of the consortium have to justify at least 3 years of existence?

YES, the lead partner of the consortium must be fully eligible under all of the defined eligibility criteria.

Are companies that have not yet started their activities eligible (case of a factory under construction)?

NO. On the other hand, the main shareholder of this new company can possibly apply if he meets the eligibility criteria. See above extended answer

When submitting the concept note, the project should be at what stage? Financing plan closed? Project in progress? Project completed, and since when? Possibility of refinancing?

No specific stage of completion is required, but the project concept must be mature – that is, prepared to begin project execution (constructing the building, procuring machinery …) as soon as possible (latest 12 months) after signing the IFE Grant Agreement. However, all investments relating to activities already carried out cannot be supported or taken into account by IFE.

Are projects requiring a grant of less than 1 million Euros eligible?


Is there a maximum number of partners when the project is carried by a consortium?

NO, but each part of the consortium must play a relevant role in the project. Roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined in the concept note.

Is there a maximum duration for projects?

YES. The exact duration depends on the nature of each project. That said, the investment (constructing the building, procuring machinery …) must begin no later than 12 months after the date of signature of the financing agreement, the investment phase of a project may not exceed 24 months, and in all investments must be concluded a maximum of 30 months after the financing agreement is signed. Operations should be carried out after this at a normal pace without interruption.

Eligible Costs

Is expert support or Technical Assistance which would help to set up the project eligible for IFE funding (example: Technical Assistance for studies/analyses/training)?

In principle YES, but only during the investment period of the project and only if the Technical Assistance is closely linked to the investment and absolutely necessary for the realization of the planned operations.

Does IFE cover the management costs of the personnel who will be mobilized for the execution of the project?

These costs are part of the company's operating budget during the investment phase. IFE can only cover them during the investment period, and only if the personnel concerned are strictly necessary for the successful completion of the investment.

In the case of NGOs, does the IFE facility cover the management costs?


Contribution expected of applicants

Are ‘intangible’ contributions taken into account at the level of the candidate's contribution?


Must the contribution be in cash, or can it be in the form of land, structures, etc.?

  • The applicant's financial contribution can be in cash or a combination of both in cash and in kind.
  • In-Kind contribution:
    • Projects proposals involving exclusively in-kind contributions will not qualify.
    • Inflating the size or the value of the in-kind contribution could leady to disqualifying the project.
  • Cash-contribution must be of a minimum of 15% of the overall own contribution, and the applicant should demonstrate documentary evidence for cash contributions (signed MoUs, bank statements, etc.).

Can own contributions be presented in the form of services?

NO. Intangible contributions are not taken into account.

Is a contribution in the form of IT solutions eligible?


How will the contributions in kind be valued and by whom?

The value of each in-kind contribution must be certified by approved expert, but not necessarily at the concept note presentation stage. See also expanded answer above.

Can the company's contribution be in kind in the form of already existing machines?

YES, but subject to an assessment by an approved expert, which must be carried out in Phase 2.

Can the candidate's contribution be in kind (land, building, equipment, etc.)?

YES, subject to an assessment carried out by an approved expert. Intangible contributions are not allowed. A minimum of 15% of the candidate’s contribution must be in cash.

Is it possible for a public entity to present its own contributions in the form of intellectual services such as training, course design, creation of a specialized journal, writing of articles, academic teaching, access to bibliographic sites, etc.?


Can any bank loans granted, company capital, or other property belonging to the company be considered as a possible own contribution?

YES. See details on the guide, intangible contributions are not allowed.

Can the candidate's contribution be supplemented by another grant program outside the IFE?

YES. It will be counted as a part of the candidate’s own contribution.

Documentation to submit

What documents are expected from public entities?

Public entities must demonstrate their ability to:

  • Provide their share of co-financing;
  • Invest their share of co-financing initially, before starting the disbursement schedule of the IFE grant;
  • Bear the operating costs of the co-financed project after the investment has been completed.

To do this, the public entity applying for an IFE grant must provide information on its Annual Budget and upload a signed Letter of Commitment from a director or other responsible individual committing the entity to make the required funds available.

Do the financial statements for the last three years have to be certified?


What are the expected financial statements in the event that a company plans to create a subsidiary dedicated to the project?

In this case, the certified financial statements of the applicant (namely the parent company) must be presented.

Do supporting documents in Arabic have to be translated into French by a certified translator?

All supporting documents in Arabic (i.e., financial statements, business licenses, etc.) must be translated into English at the Concept Note stage. Only shortlisted applicants will be required to present certified/notarised translations at the second stage (the Full Project Proposal stage).

Do the details of the project budget therefore have to be expressed in Euros?



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